Remembering those who gave all on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, Dutch veterans pay their respects. On, the 6th of June, 2014, these Dutch veterans made a special trip to the Normandy American Cemetery to place a white rose, on the behalf of The Citadel Memorial Europe, at the six graves and one name on the Wall of the Missing of the Citadel men there. The day after, one of the group stated, “We did it with great honor and respect. Yesterday, we had a great day.”
My favorite story resulting from the work of The Citadel Memorial Europe over the past five years took place back in June 2014. Probably it is my favorite because it is a tale of action, simple in execution but not without risk, and it is a perfect example of the remarkable character of the Dutch veterans I have come to know and respect.
Three years ago, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy was commemorated with great anticipation and celebration. The preparations by the French people took years. The leaders of the WWII allies were present, the news coverage was complete, and the invasion of veterans, politicians, and celebrants overwhelming.
For me, the story began a year before when chatting with a Dutch friend of mine, Job Kosterman, I learned that he and a group of his mates, all Dutch military veterans, were planning a trip to Normandy for the 70th anniversary. (more…)
Un 70e anniversaire souvenir du Memorial Day et du jour J : extraits de films inédits des archives de la Citadelle et l’histoire derrière la classe du collège de 1944 qui est devenue connue sous le nom de la classe qui n’a jamais éxisté en raison de leur service dans la Seconde Guerre mondiale.
Charleston, S.C. (PRWEB) May 27, 2014 (View original here)
L’entraînement physique, des exercices, des inspections … recensement defilms de 1942 qui représentent des scènes de la vie dans le Corps des cadets SC. Les films de la Citadelle ont été une fois joués dans les écoles et les théâtres pour promouvoir la valeur d’une éducation d’une école militaire ainsi que de l’Amérique qui a été entièrement engagée dans la Seconde Guerre mondiale et deux ans avant le jour J. Mais les cadets qui étaient étudiants en deuxième année à l’époque du tournage étaient sur le point d’avoir leur parcours scolaire interrompu de façon dramatique.
“C’est vrai parce qu’on n’a jamais eu de diplômes , on n’a jamais eu de cérémonies,et on n’a jamais eu une quelconque particularité propre à un ancien de La Citadelle – un des privilèges qui appartient à un ancien de la Citadelle. Donc, par conséquent, (more…)
by Steven V. Smith, ’84 – Chair, CAA History Committee
This article originally appeared in the Alumni News of The Citadel – Summer 2014. It is reprinted here in its entirety with the permission of the Citadel Alumni Association.
The observance of the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings in Normandy poignantly reminds us that those young men who embarked upon that great crusade and were fortunate enough to have survived are in their eighties and nineties now. Even as this article was written, The Citadel’s most decorated veteran of WWII, Colonel Theodore S. “Ted” Bell, class of ’42, recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and two Bronze Stars, who fought with the 77th Infantry Division in the Pacific, passed away at the age of 93. We are fast approaching that point in time when memory will forever pass into history. It is incumbent upon we who are the recipients of the fruits of their sacrifice to take a few minutes to remember the exploits those who were there.
Of course, the exploits of Major Thomas D. Howie, class of 1929, “The Major of St. Lo”, commanding officer of 3/116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division seventy years ago are, or at least should be familiar to alumni. Howie, serving as operations officer or S3 for the 116th Infantry Regiment landed with the third wave on OMAHA Beach at H+70, June 6, 1944. Five weeks later on July 17 during the operation to liberate St. Lo and four days after taking command of 3/116, he would lose his life in that attack on Martinsville ridge; an action for which he was awarded the Silver Star. His home town of Abbeville, South Carolina, St. Lo, France, and The Citadel all have memorials to his memory, “Dead in France, Deathless in Fame” his grave in the Normandy American Cemetery is one of the most visited in the cemetery. There are other alumni who are less well known or even remembered. What follows are a few of those stories.
Major Howie was not the first Citadel alumnus to land at OMAHA Beach. That distinction goes to Private First Class Thompson Gallety Dicks, class of 1944, assigned to A Company, 1/116th Infantry Regiment landing in the first wave on the Dog Green sector at H+1. Within ten minutes of landing, the murderous grazing and plunging machinegun and mortar fire rendered the unit combat ineffective with Dicks and over two thirds of his company, many from the town of Bedford, Virginia, dead or dying on that beach forever known to history as “Bloody Omaha.” Bedford Virginia is home to the National D Day Memorial. Thompson’s father, Colonel John Leon Dicks, class of 1918, had his son’s remains permanently interred in the Normandy American Cemetery. (more…)
By Hal Boyle
With the 116th Infantry Regiment in France, July 23 – (delayed) – (AP)
They passed out Presidential citations today to officers and doughboys who cracked St. Lo, the eastern hinge of the German battle-line, and it was a sad ceremony to many because the “Major of St. Lo” was not alive to receive his.
The “Major of St. Lo” was Thomas D. Howie of Stauton, Va., one of the best beloved battalion leaders in the American army. He was killed July 17, the day before the city fell, after he broke through the Nazi wall to relieve another battalion of this regiment which was encircled on the outskirts.
Today the major lies in honor with other officers and men in the 29th division’s cemetery  – but on the day St. Lo was taken the dead major was carried through the streets in state in an ambulance and his flag-draped body was placed on a pile of rubble beside the shell-wrecked church of Ste Croix. The storming force passed in review through an artillery barrage thrown by the withdrawing Germans.
Howie was bald and in his middle thirties. He formerly taught English literature and coached boxing and football at Staunton Military academy. He was an athletic star himself earlier at The Citadel Military College, Charleston, S.C.